Yap, hire a client. If you’re looking to turn this thing around, you need to reverse roles. You don’t do it because you need their sale, but you’re happy to help them if they’re interested in working with you according to your rules of engagement.
It isn’t arrogance - you’re an expert. You solve creative problems for clients that are currently unable to get to their desired destination by themselves; You are the doctor - they are the patient. If you’re going to responsibly take care of them, you need to take control, understand what, how and why.
This usually happens through a conversation, which should include these 3 points:
Help them to define their pain. They’re not doing a photo campaign because Instagram isn’t full of them, they’re trying to solve a business problem, which is usually related to money or growth. Get to the root of the issue. Every time they lay out a problem or goal, ask yourself why. What’s the emotional heart of the situation?
Inspire them with beautiful possibilities. How strong and effective can your images be? What could it look like? Start painting that picture for them, the one that replaces their pain with a better situation. By knowing what’s the heart of their issue, you can search for proper ways to address it.
Encourage them with past stories. Every brand or individual feels like their problem is entirely unique until they understand how exactly you’ve helped 27 other people with similar problems. People evaluate through social validation, and nobody wants to be the first client, so tell them about the past ones. If you’re still trying to get those first clients, try reading How to get experience when you have no experience.
The beauty of putting yourself and your work out there (however you're marketing yourself) is that it promotes all these 3 points before the clients even get to chat with you directly.
George Kroustallis // Minorstep